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Sexta-feira, 20 / 03 / 20

What Is Willful Ignorance and 5 Examples of How It Works

What Is Willful Ignorance 

and 5 Examples of How It Works

Lottie Miles, M.A.


Posted March 19, 2020.

Willful Ignorance Examples.

Willful ignorance is built on the deliberate avoidance of evidence that doesn’t match one’s existing beliefs. This can be a defense mechanism as it allows us to create a world we feel safe in, akin to confirmation bias.
However, it is also often apparent in behavior that is socially harmful. In this post, we will explore what willful ignorance is and explore this in examples of how it works in everyday life.
What Is Willful Ignorance?
As already outlined, it necessarily involves the deliberate omission of information in a decision-making process. If we are unaware of information, then we would simply be ignorant of something.
It can appear in all sorts of ways in our everyday lives, from ignoring issues that make us feel bad to rejecting irrefutable evidence that doesn’t match our world view. Willful ignorance is also sometimes termed willful blindness, as in Margaret Heffernan’s interesting exploration of the topic. She notes that:
“what we choose to let through and to leave out is crucial. We mostly admit the information that makes us feel great about ourselves, while conveniently filtering whatever unsettles our fragile egos and most vital beliefs”
Being willfully ignorant can sometimes protect the brain and work as a defense mechanism. It helps people overcome situations they would otherwise find too much. However, in extreme cases, it can actually lead us to take certain courses of action that can be harmful to ourselves or others. It can also prevent us from taking necessary actions that we should do but do not.
5 Examples of How Willful Ignorance Works in Everyday Life
Being deliberately ignorant about certain matters can help to protect us from scenarios we cannot face. However, being too willfully ignorant can also lead us to cause social harm. It can prevent us from making changes in our lives and be potentially dangerous for our entire existence.
Here, we outline 5 different ways willful ignorance plays out in our daily lives from the mundane through to the serious.
Sport offers a useful way to explore common benign ways people enact willful ignorance in their lives. For example, be it basketball or soccer, if you are the player on a team, more often than not every decision that goes against you appears to be wrong.
Even though sports stars know their actions are on video, they can still appeal against decisions seemingly convinced that what they just did, didn’t happen. Equally, fans watching the game may employ willful blindness to the bad actions of players on the team they support.
Creationism & Intelligent Design
Creationists necessarily have to create new narratives to explain away evidence for evolution. Rather than looking at evidence as building blocks, creationist science seeks to manipulate the building blocks until they match the existing ideology.
Indeed, both creationists and intelligent design ‘scientists’ have to ignore hundreds of studies. These studies verify certain facts of evolution confirmed at both a micro and macroevolutionary scale so they cannot be confronted, only circumvented. This protects them on an emotional level by defending their world view.
Self-deception through willful ignorance can have beneficial and detrimental effects when it comes to education. For example, if we receive a low score in a test and blame it on the course content not matching the exam, we may feel better about ourselves. However, to do this, we may need to ignore the fact other people we know scored highly on the test.
If we feel okay with a low score, we may not take the time to reflect on what we could have done differently to achieve a better result. As such, it is important to recognize if we are willfully ignoring things that may help us take positive actions in our lives.
A common area where most people will have a personal understanding of willful ignorance is being healthy. In this case, being willfully ignorant can have negative consequences for the individual and society at large.
We all know smoking is bad, alcohol is bad, ice cream is bad. However, this fact alone is insufficient to prevent many of us from consuming these things. This is akin to cognitive dissonance. But there are ways we can recognize and overcome this way of thinking and being.
Health also provides an example of where willful ignorance can harm others as well as ourselves. For example, according to the WHO ‘vaccine hesitancy is one of the top 10 global health threats’.
Movements like the anti-vaxxers have grown in popularity, especially in Europe. This has seen a rise in people unsure about the safety of vaccines. In fact, 21 percent of the global population is now feeling this way.
Climate change
Climate change perhaps best represents how being willfully ignorant can be both useful as a defense mechanism and socially harmful to ourselves and others. More and more people are experiencing climate change distress. Thus, a certain amount of willful blindness is necessary for many people in order to protect their mental well-being.
However, if everyone practices willful blindness about the issue of climate change, then climate catastrophe for most on the planet will lie ahead.
Final Words
From this exploration of common examples of willful ignorance in everyday life, it is clear that it is somewhat of a double-edged sword. It can be an effective defense mechanism protecting us from events that challenge our comfortable world view. But it can also have negative consequences if we leave it unchecked.



Lottie Miles


About the Author: Lottie Miles

Lottie Miles is a professional researcher and writer with a passion for human rights. She has 4 years of experience working within the NGO sector and has a Masters Degree in Social Policy. She has a keen interest in exploring ways in which happiness habits can help to improve mental health and wellbeing. In her spare time, she likes doing crossword puzzles, painting and traveling.
Copyright © 2012-2019 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

Compiled by http://violetflame.biz.ly from: 

No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 

Please respect all credits.

Discernment is recommended.

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 



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publicado por achama às 01:01
Quinta-feira, 16 / 05 / 19

4 Ways Social Conditioning Secretly Affects Your Behaviors and Decisions ~ Janey Davies.

4 Ways Social Conditioning Secretly Affects Your Behaviors and Decisions.

By Janey Davies.

May 15th, 2019.




We all like to think we have free will and make our own decisions in life, but in actual fact, we are programmed at an early age by social conditioning.
Social conditioning is a set of rules and behavior dictated to us by society. It’s very easy to see how we as individuals can be conditioned in this way.
No one wants to stand out when they are younger. We all want to fit in. If you are different, you are bullied, ridiculed and ostracised from popular groups.
We soon learn to fall in line with whatever everyone is doing, saying, wearing, wanting, even believing. So how does it start and who conditions us?
“The things you read will fashion you by slowly conditioning your mind.” A.W. Tozer
The thing is, this kind of conditioning begins as soon as we are born. Parents immediately reinforce gender differences. Parents tell girls to behave in a quiet and polite manner and boys must not cry.
Teachers take on the baton and steer boys towards scientific subjects such as maths and physics. On the other hand, girls are pushed to creative topics. Our newly qualified graduates head out into the workplace.
Adverts bombard them with messages on what to wear, what to look like and who they should like. This constant drip-feeding of nudging and reinforcing the right responses actually affects our behavior without us really knowing.

Examples of conditioning by society:

  • Models have to be thin in the fashion industry.
  • Pink for a girl, blue for a boy.
  • Nurses are female.
  • Money buys you happiness.
  • We have to get our protein from meat.

So how does social conditioning affect our behavior?


Language instantly jolts our unconscious mind. For instance, what do you immediately think of when you read the word immigrants?
For some people, their initial thoughts might center on closing the borders, the country is full up, a lack of resources, or there’s too many of them for us to cope with.
For others, the word immigrants may suggest qualified doctors and nurses, ex-pats living abroad, EU nationals, foreign students, or NHS workers.
Depending on the type of media you watch or read will color your view of immigrants. For example, typically, right-wing media depicts most immigrants in a negative light.


The homeless; responsible for their own fate or in need of help from society? Some people have very strong ideas about how you can end up living on the streets. They think that it would never happen to them and, therefore, it must be the fault of the homeless person.
How did they come up with that belief? Were their parents particularly critical of homeless people? Statistically, we are all three pay cheques away from losing our homes and ending up with nowhere to live. It could happen to many of us, so why do some believe it is purely down to the individual and not the situation?
Society has been telling us for decades that hard work and effort are all we need to succeed in life. So it’s easy for us to blame the person rather than the longstanding message that everyone else believes and follows.


You cannot mention conditioning of any kind, social or otherwise, without talking about religion. I’m guessing that whatever religion you belong to or believe in as an adult, you learned about it when you were a child.
When we are children, we believe what our parents and teachers tell us. Because we are so young when this information is first absorbed, it is extremely difficult to dismiss it as incorrect when we are older.
You see similar examples with the retelling of major war battles in history lessons. Countries will favor their side of the story when it comes to educating children on the exploits of battle outcomes and actions of generals, even prime ministers.
Whole nations are outraged decades later when their respected war heroes are then revealed to be less than perfect.

Social Media

Does the life you present on social media have any resemblance to the life you actually lead? The selfies you have carefully crafted, spending hours choosing just the right one that shows you at your best.
Or deliberating over a post that isn’t too self-righteous but shows how devastated you are over the latest world tragedy (after all, it does affect you personally).
We are conditioned now to look our best, say the right things and at least appear to be loving life like never before. However, in reality, more and more men are committing suicide, teenagers are being bullied to death and children as young as 6 are worried they are too fat.
Social media is a portal into our lives, but we are faking this insight because the life we are leading doesn’t live up to social expectations.

So what can you do to break free from conditioning?

  • Don’t be afraid to question or confront people about their behavior.
  • If you see something you don’t agree with – say so.
  • Don’t surround yourself with like-minded people. You’ll only reinforce your own views.
  • Watch media from different sources. If you only ever read one newspaper, switch to another.
  • Do your own thing! Live by your own rules. So what if you don’t earn a lot of money? Do what makes you happy!
  • Finally, recognize when your behaviors or beliefs are a result of social conditioning and work to change them.
As the Indian teacher of meditation S. N. Goenka advises:
“Removing old conditionings from the mind and training the mind to be more equaimous with every experience is the first step toward enabling one to experience true happiness.”
  1. https://www.academia.edu



About the Author: Janey Davies.

Janey Davies has been published online for over 8 years. She is the head writer for Shoppersbase.com, she also writes for AvecAgnes.co.uk, Ewawigs.com and has contributed to inside3DP.com. She has an Honours Degree in Psychology and her passions include learning about the mind, popular science and politics. When she is relaxing she likes to walk her dog, read science fiction and listen to Muse.

Compiled by http://violetflame.biz.ly from: 


Please respect all credits.

Discernment is recommended.


All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


No religious or political belief is defended here. (Investigate yourself)


Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 

If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

More @ http://violetflame.biz.ly and 


Like this! please bookmark. It is updated daily


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publicado por achama às 08:23
A Luz está a revelar a Verdade, e esta libertar-nos-á! -Só é real o AMOR Incondicional. -Quando o Amor superar o amor pelo poder, o mundo conhecerá a Paz; Jimi Hendrix. -Somos almas a ter uma experiência humana!

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